Euphoric Eat: Sahara Restaurant

Lamb is wonderful.

Lamb is wonderful.

I wasn’t planning on writing a review for this place, as I already wrote about a Mediterranean restaurant in a previous post. However, this was some of the best food I’ve eaten in a while, so sharing this experience was necessary.

I booked a reservation for Valentine’s Day, and kept it a secret all week until Kelly and I finally made it to the restaurant on Saturday night. When we got there at around 8:30, it was more packed than a Rutgers bus on a Friday night. Thankfully I planned ahead (what a novel concept!) and we didn’t have to wait too long before being seated.

After reading the scriptures of succulence also known as a menu, the feasting began as we munched on a myriad of delicious appetizers.

And what a feast it was. From the crispy falafel doused in tahini sauce, to the sigara boregi, which are fried rolls of feta and dill, and lastly, the freshly made pita, I was in heaven. OHHHHH THE PITA!

I swear, I might be addicted to this stuff. Kelly had to forcibly remove it from my possession, otherwise I would’ve wolfed it all down.

I was already on cloud nine enjoying my appetizers, when the wait staff made a mistake that turned out to be quite fortuitous for us. The couple next to us ordered a pair of soups, and the server gave them to us by accident. It would be the last time she ever saw those soups again.

I’m the type of guy that likes to eat first and ask questions later, so when she placed them on our table, I went right in–but not before dipping some leftover pita in the soup! It must have been some of sort of creamy lentil broth, but whatever it was, it was terrific!

After our stockpile of savory snacks was finished, out came the main course. Kelly, knowing I am an absolute hog when it comes to finishing other people’s food, decided to order a tilapia dish. I’m not the biggest fan of fish out there, but boy, I had one bite and was humming in delight!

Kelly played it safe and brought the rest home in a takeout box. It appears as if she has developed a resistance to my food-fiending ways. You win this time…

There’s an old adage that states don’t mess with success. This rang true especially for me, because I ordered the same entree I did at Efe’s, the adana kebab. If you’ve seen my Facebook or Instagram lately, that Mediterranean marvel of a picture was indeed my dinner.

I had a difficult time eating it, because like a great movie, you just don’t want it to end. It might have been the best lamb I’ve ever had. There was juiciness in every bite, and the seasoning added a perfect amount of flare to the meat. The sides of rice and couscous were just as tasty!

Sahara wouldn’t go down without a fight though. After paying the bill, we headed straight back to my house, as we were suffering from the worst of ailments: a food coma.

This restaurant is a great venue for special occasions, but it’s not the type of place I’d frequent. The only reason why is because of its price range. Being a college student, you just can’t have 50 dollar dinners all the time.

Other than that, I can’t find a thing wrong with this place. The service is prompt, the staff is friendly, and the atmosphere is great. You gotta treat yourself every now and then, so make Sahara your next stop. Your bank account may be thinner as a result, but you certainly won’t!

Euphoric Eat: Efe’s Mediterranean Grill

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Located on the corner of Easton Avenue and Somerset Street, Efe’s Mediterranean Grill is pretty hard to miss. Despite passing by it virtually every day, I never found the time to go in for a sit-down meal. I once ordered a wrap, to-go, and it was alright, but nothing special. Still, I thought this place deserved another shot.

On Saturday night, along with my girlfriend and her roommates, as well as my trusty culinary companion Yash, we trekked through the snow as we made our way to yet another euphoric eatery.

After asking for a table, we were led upstairs into the main dining area, which was nearly full.  A packed house at a restaurant is usually a good sign, because it shows that it is a popular spot.

Anyways, this place had a great ambience to it. It seems like renovations were recently made to the restaurant, because this place looked brand-spankin’ new. Lovely artwork, brick walls, and huge windows overlooking Easton Avenue were just a few of the pieces of decor that made this place so welcoming.

We started our meal off with an order of baba ganoush for the table, which consists of an eggplant puree flavored with tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Accompanied by a tray of pita which was fresher than a 12-year old with an attitude, this delectable dip had us all fighting for the last bite.

For those of you who have never had the pleasure of eating some, I would behoove you to drop whatever it is you are doing and get to the nearest baba ganoush dispensary. Just kidding, those don’t exist. Although I wish they did. Maybe I’ll be a baba ganoush salesman some day.

After wolfing down another serving of pita for the table, it was then time for the main course. And what a main course it was. I got the lamb adana kebab platter, which had grilled lamb flavored with red bell peppers and a paprika seasoning, along with a side of rice. Translation: MHMMMMMMM!

Being the gavone that I am, one plate of food just wasn’t enough for me. So, after finishing my food, I bided my time, hoping…no, praying, that one of the girls wouldn’t be able to finish. I got what I wished for, and then some.

Kelly was the first to surrender her plate, which I believe was some sort of chicken kebab platter. It too was delicious, bursting with flavor in every bite.

Now I consider myself a lucky man when I get to finish just one other person’s food. But TWO people? I must be in heaven.

Thanks to Kelly’s roommate Gab, my dreams became reality. She too was unable to finish her meal, a chicken platter, which I promptly devoured.

Gluttony aside, I really enjoyed my time at Efe’s. The service was great, as the waiters were attentive and friendly the whole time. Despite being there at dinnertime on a Saturday night, we weren’t kept waiting long for our food, which was impressive.

Whether you’re out to lunch with friends or on a romantic dinner date with your special someone, you can’t go wrong with Efe’s. With a great atmosphere and even better food, I’ll certainly be back soon!